Guy makeovers: Ways to help a man improve his appearance by choosing better clothes, shoes and hair styles
How to make your guy look great
So you have a great boyfriend, or husband even. He takes out the garbage, fixes the cars, kills big bugs and lifts heavy things. He’s even a sweet guy who cares a lot about you. Trouble is, he’s a slob, or doesn’t know how to dress. He looks like a refugee from a James Cameron disaster movie. You’d really like to see him dressed nicely once in a while, but you don’t know how to go about it. He needs a makeover, but how do you start?
The first thing to ask is: would he be willing to change a little, if he knew it meant a lot to you? If the answer is a resounding “no,” then you probably are wasting your breath. The best you’ll be able to do is keep him in new T-shirts. If the answer is a “maybe” or a “yes,” then start thinking about what needs to be changed, and work from there.
Small changes work best. Don’t try to reform him all at once. Start with the little things. If he’s had those sneakers since Michael Jordan was playing college ball, it’s time for some new ones. Take him to a shoe store and pick out some nice, conservative sneakers. Make sure they’re all one color — usually either black or white. Tell him how nice they look. Positive reinforcement all along the way is crucial. They don’t act like it, but men are every bit as sensitive about their looks as women are. They, above all things, fear looking foolish because of how they are dressed.
You might want to wait until a family or holiday occasion comes along for the next part. Then you have an excuse to say, “Honey, we’ve been invited to a Christmas party. Let’s go get you some nice clothes.” You can then take him to the men’s department and look for new duds. But be careful — take into consideration that he does not want to look foolish. So stick with the basics for now. Get a pair of khaki, navy or black twill slacks and a long-sleeved shirt in a solid color, maybe with a solid color sweater. When he comes out of the dressing room, complaining that he looks like a prep, say, “Oh, sweetie! You are so sexy in those pants! There’s just something hot about a good-looking man wearing nice clothes.” You can also get something nice for him for his birthday, or for Christmas, and say you’ll pick up the check at the restaurant if he will wear his nice clothes on the date.
Men, in general, have no objections to wearing nice clothes, as long as they think they still look masculine. Homophobia aside, no man wants to look like a “sissy boy.” It’s your job to convince him that good-looking clothes make him a better-looking, more desirable man. Of course, let him know you still like his old T-shirts and ratty jeans, that they have a definite appeal, but that his good clothes are an asset, as well.
If your man is a conservative dresser, and won’t be seen in other than a white shirt, khakis and wingtip Oxfords, then you also have a problem. This is something you may need to enlist others in the family to help with. Would he be crushed if he knew he hurt his sister’s feelings, or those of a favorite niece? Then, have that family member give him something with a little more pizzazz — say a nice blue Oxford shirt and a spiffy tie — and tell him that her feelings will be terribly hurt if he doesn’t wear them. It may be mild psychological warfare, but it works. You probably won’t get him in anything too fashion-forward, so content yourself with just adding a little spice to his wardrobe.
Hair is another sore spot with men. Again, the “sissy boy” mentality rears its head. Convince him that his longish, rock-star locks could use some shaping, or his buzz cut some length. Imply that running your fingers through his thick hair is a real turn-on. Of course, if you’re dealing with a comb-over situation, you’ll have to be honest. Tell him his few strands of hair up there aren’t fooling anyone, and they just look silly. In any of the above cases, taking him to a male stylist, or to a barbershop, for that matter, is O-U-T. An old-fashioned barber will just run the clippers over his head, military-style, and that will be that. If the barber is a young man, you might have a shot. But stay away from male stylists. They’ll scare a guy.
Your best bet is for a nice, motherly middle-aged lady who will reassure him that she will not make his hair look like anything in a style magazine. Or, if you know of a shop that employs a particularly cute girl who does good hair, send him to her. He will be pleased to sit in a chair quietly while she puts her hands on his head. She can probably also allay his fears of coming out of the shop looking like a male tart.
If your guy needs to lose weight, this is a situation you must handle with extreme delicacy. Do not even mention appearance. If you do, you will hurt his feelings in a way that won’t mend easily. Instead, focus on how much you love him, and how you want him to be healthy and live a long, quality life. Besides—it really isn’t important if he doesn’t have six-pack abs and a cut chest. If he’s at a healthy weight, that’s all that you need to be concerned with.
Always keep in mind that, while you may relish a new wardrobe, haircut, hair color, etc., men are much more hidebound. They don’t usually like to change very much, or very often. Make the changes small and gradual, and before you know it, you’ll have your man wearing nice clothes and looking his best.